At Least for Now

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At Least for Now
At Least For Now ablum cover.jpeg
Studio album by
Released12 January 2015
RecordedMay – August 2014
StudioRAK Studios, London
GenreRock opera, spoken word, classical, chamber pop, art pop
Length50:50
LabelVirgin EMI
ProducerBenjamin Clementine, Jonathan Quarmby
Benjamin Clementine chronology
Glorious You
(2013)
At Least for Now
(2015)
I Tell a Fly
(2017)
Singles from At Least for Now
  1. "Nemesis"
    Released: 8 January 2015

At Least for Now is the debut studio album by English musician, singer, and poet Benjamin Clementine. It was released through Behind Records in France on 12 January 2015.[1] The album was recorded after Clementine gained critical acclaim with his two previous EPs.[2] Clementine returned to London in the new year to record his album, just as his career was starting to take off. He moved to Kensington High Street with a friend he had met in Tuscany then went back to Edmonton for a period of time until At Least for Now was completed.[3] The album won the 2015 Mercury Music Prize.[4]

At Least for Now went top 10 in France, and has been certified Gold there. The album was also well received by music critics, who praised its mixture of genres and uniqueness.

Album cover[edit]

Reviewer Calum Bradbury-Sparvell described the cover, noting, "Clementine stands in a shadowy profile with a Granny Smith cupped in his right hand, as if the Magritte's Son Of Man had finally plucked the offending fruit from his face, but promptly swiveled away from the limelight. An appropriate symbol for this debut LP, during which the mythos of the Edmonton-raised Métro busker, who went from sleeping rough to impressing Macca in a barefoot Later With Jools Holland performance, dissipates only to reveal something more inscrutable: a stranger in a trench coat."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.4/10[6]
Metacritic75/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[8]
The Guardian[9]
The Independent[10]
The National[11]
PopMatters7/10[12]

Phil Mongredien from The Guardian said At Least for Now was "bold, brave, beautiful, and at times quite brilliant" and that "for the most part these piano-led songs sound unique."[9] Nake Chinen from The New York Times wrote that "As for Clementine's actual voice, it's a strange and frequently stunning instrument, a blade like tenor that can swoop into either a clarion cry or a guttural scowl. The inevitable comparison, notably on a song like "Adios", is to Nina Simone — to her demonstrative clarity of phrase, and the flickering incandescence of her timbre."[13] AllMusic's Timothy Monger said that At Least for Now "makes its case as a one-man show for piano and voice. The compelling British singer/songwriter is dramatic, self-assured, and theatrical in the extreme, boasting a powerful voice that swells to fill the room, which, on this unique record, seems to expand and shrink at the drop of a hat. ... At Least for Now is a pop record of sorts, but completely on his own terms, and like Antony Hegarty (an acknowledged influence) and Rufus Wainwright, two artists who have similar aspirations of pseudo-classical grandeur, Clementine will no doubt be polarizing for many listeners. There is no question, however, of his raw talent, poeticism, and knack for beguiling melodies, and in this oversaturated market, the true mavericks will always rise above the din."[8]

According to Dave Simpson of The Guardian, Clemetine "is reminiscent of Kevin Rowland in that he sounds as if he is singing from the gut, and because he has to. If only he had Rowlands' economy: mannered vocal flourishes complicate the melodies when what's needed is simplicity. The addition of syrupy strings and pedestrian drumming further dilutes the impact of his raw talent. However, when he performs unadorned, melodies dripping from his fingertips, and expressing himself, his voice is difficult to forget."[14]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
The Guardian The Best Albums of 2015 2015

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Benjamin Clementine.

No.TitleLength
1."Winston Churchill's Boy"5:37
2."Then I Heard a Bachelor's Cry"5:08
3."London"4:01
4."Adios"4:17
5."St-Clementine-on-Tea-and-Croissants"1:12
6."Nemesis"5:04
7."The People and I"5:16
8."Condolence"6:30
9."Cornerstone"4:31
10."Quiver a Little"4:42
11."Gone"4:32
Total length:50:50
French bonus track
No.TitleLength
12."Curriculum Vitæ"3:53
Total length:54:43
US iTunes Store bonus tracks[16]
No.TitleLength
12."Edmonton"4:53
13."Mathematics"3:08
Total length:58:51
Deluxe edition bonus tracks[17]
No.TitleLength
12."I Won't Complain"4:40
13."Pound Sterling"4:34
14."Riverman" (live)3:39
15."London" (live)4:03
Total length:67:44

Personnel[edit]

Musicians

  • Benjamin Clementine – vocals, piano, keyboard, percussion, foot stamping on "St-Clementine-on-Tea-and-Croissants"
  • Alexis Brossard – drums
  • Manu Sauvage – bass guitar, keyboard bass
  • Jonathan Quarmby – bass guitar on "Quiver a Little"

Production

  • Benjamin Clementine – producer
  • Jonathan Quarmby – chief engineer
  • Engineer – Richard Woodcraft
  • Recorded at RAK Studios, London, England except the track "Adios", recorded in Paris at Marlon B Studios
  • Cover design – Benjamin Clementine, Akatre, based on The Son of Man painting by René Magritte (front)
  • Photography – Akatre (France inner portrait)

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Benjamin Clementine shares new song, 'Nemesis'". DIY. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  2. ^ Quine, Oscar (30 March 2015). "Benjamin Clementine: From barefoot busking in Paris to being compared with Nina Simone". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. ^ Tim Lewis (9 August 2014). "Benjamin Clementine: the barefoot troubadour who speaks his mind". The Guardian.
  4. ^ "Mercury Prize 2015 shortlist". BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  5. ^ "The Quietus - Reviews - Benjamin Clementine". The Quietus.
  6. ^ "Benjamin Clementine: At Least For Now". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Reviews for At Least for Now by Benjamin Clementine". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  8. ^ a b Timothy Monger. "At Least for Now - Benjamin Clementine | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b Phil Mongredien (29 March 2015). "Benjamin Clementine: At Least for Now review – at times quite brilliant". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  10. ^ Andy Gill (11 January 2014). "Album reviews: Lincoln Durham, Boy & Bear, Run The Jewels, Benjamin Clementine, Howe Gelb | Reviews | Culture". The Independent. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Album review: Clementine's first studio album is loud and proud | The National". Thenational.ae. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Benjamin Clementine: At Least for Now". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  13. ^ Chinen, Nate (29 July 2015). "Review: Benjamin Clementine Releases His Debut Album". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Dave Simpson (26 March 2015). "Benjamin Clementine: At Least for Now review – fascinating but flawed debut". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The Guardian. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  16. ^ "iTunes – Music – At Least For Now by Benjamin Clementine". iTunes Store. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  17. ^ "iTunes – Music – At Least For Now (Deluxe) by Benjamin Clementine". iTunes Store. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Lescharts.com – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2015". Ultratop. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  28. ^ "Rapports Annuels 2015". Ultratop. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  29. ^ "Top de l'année Top Albums 2015" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 10 November 2020.